Both the Nielsen and Arbitron sweep month books report that "The Cosby Show" on Channel 2 (WMAR) attracts more than twice as many viewers as "The Simpsons" on Channel 45 (WBFF).
In Nielsen, "Cosby" has a 23 rating and 34 share, while "The Simpsons" gets an 11 rating and 15 share. In Arbitron, it's a 26/40 for the Cos, while Bart and crew get a 9/15.
In one of those complexities of modern broadcasting, Channel 2 is happy that "The Cosby Show" wins so dramatically on Thursdays at 8 p.m., but is even happier that "Cosby" doesn't have such a clear-cut victory weekdays at 5 p.m.
That's because those "Cosby" reruns are on Channel 13 (WJZ) everyday. For the first time since the reruns showed up a couple of years ago, Channel 2's 5 o'clock newscast actually tied "Cosby" in the Nielsen book, both getting 11 ratings and 29 shares. In Arbitron, Channel 2's news closed the gap with an 11 rating and 27 share to "Cosby's" 13 rating and 34 share.
Channel 2's 5 o'clock news easily outdistances the news at that hour on Channel 11 (WBAL), which gets a 6 rating in both books, a 15 share in Arbitron and a 16 in Nielsen.
A rating point represents one percent of the TV-equipped households in the market, while the share points are the percentage of those homes with their TV sets in use at the time.
Channel 13 remains the city's news leader, its 6 o'clock hour getting a 19 rating and 37 share in both books, while its 11 p.m. news got a 13 rating in both books, a 36 share in Arbitron and a 34 share in Nielsen. Both Channel 2 and Channel 11 were far behind at 11 p.m. with ratings around 7 or 8 and shares around 20.
In other ratings news:
* The most popular Fox show in Baltimore is not "The Simpsons" but "In Living Color," which got a 14 rating and 20 share on Sunday night in the Nielsen book, also ahead of "Married . . . with Children's" 11/16.
* Though it still has another month on the air, this is the last rating book for WJZ's "Evening Magazine" and it continued to deliver its dependable decent numbers; an 11/20 in Arbitron, a 12/22 in Nielsen.
* "Geraldo" suffered in the move to the mornings as it could get no better than a 3/15 for Channel 11 at 10 a.m., far behind the 6/30 that "Sally Jesse Raphael" recorded for Channel 2 at that hour in Nielsen.
* Channel 13's early morning news continues to dominate, getting a 9 rating and 60 share in Arbitron, while its upstart local competitors got 1 ratings and single digit shares.
* "Tim and Daphne," the potential national talk show starring the husband and wife team of Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid, will probably never make it to syndication on the basis of the numbers it got in its Baltimore tryout on Channel 2 weekday mornings at 11 o'clock. Both books gave it a 2 rating with a share no better than 15 in Arbitron.